Obama Administration Announces Ocean Policy


  • Randy Showstack


With the U.S. Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force final report in hand, U.S. president Barack Obama issued an executive order on 19 July largely adopting its recommendations. These include establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes; creating a National Ocean Council, which will hold its first meeting later this summer; strengthening the ocean governance structure; and providing for the development of coastal and marine spatial plans.

The task force report indicates that U.S. ocean policy includes protecting, maintaining, and restoring ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources; increasing scientific understanding and using the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions about them; and improving the understanding and awareness of changing environmental conditions.